Just Festival offers something unlike any other venue’s programmes. Made up of a mixture of performances, talks and conversations (some of which are free), it’s a socially conscious festival. Celebrating humanity in all its differences, it operates with the aims of exploring new perspectives, challenging perceptions, promoting respectful dialogue and reducing religious, political and social intolerance.
The organisation is Edinburgh-based and works on community projects throughout the year. In 2018, partnerships with local organisations have culminated in live and interactive performances: Active Inquiry and the Corra Foundation present Age and Stage at the end of the month – a devised piece exploring a key theme of loneliness among the elderly; and the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Harmony Choir (a vocal group set up to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health) created the feel-good youth choir experience:Take Note!
Local theatre group Strange Town have already completed their run of Dr Korczak’s Example, with four star reviews and great audience feedback.. Where Are You Really From? in association with Glasgow Citizen’s Theatre and World Spirit Theatre explores stories of asylum and migration. Connected Lives, an Active Inquiry presentation supported by Bethany Christian Trust, The Alma Project and Shakti Women’s Aid tackles isolation, while X-Changing Faces improv comedy will be raising money for the charity Changing Faces Scotland.
But as well as championing local initiatives, the festival has an international spirit. Ghanaian ‘Afroppella’ sensation Alabaster Box bring African rhythms and harmonies with Sounds from Gold Coast; Adaawe, a multicultural all-female band from LA have already received a four star review for We ARE; the award-winning apartheid era play, The Island, has made the journey to Edinburgh from South Africa; and the powerful bloominauschwitz from Menagerie Theatre is receiving critical acclaim including a five star review.
There’s also one-off performances of music, poetry and dance, plus the daily talks and conversations on subjects including Brexit anxiety, death and dying, aid, equality and female empowerment. With thought-provoking, topical themes, Just Festival offers a profound and eclectic Fringe experience.